The Journey

A Reflection

Yesterday, I was alone in my house. My housemate was gone, all the neighbors were at work. I sat typing up work I was doing. I don’t even know what changed in that moment, but suddenly I wanted to say it. To yell it and shout it. I whispered: “I was sexually abused.” I said it again and again until I was pounding my fist on the wall and shouting it.

I started adding “by my dad” and then stopped. It had been so liberating but I couldn’t add who else. No one talks about mom-daughter sexual abuse and I could not speak it aloud. It’s something I feel no one could ever understand…I can’t myself. My mom did it under the compulsion of my father, but I would never in a million years be forced to do that to my little brothers and sisters. I would take death first.

So why why why mom? I see the pain and guilt in your eyes whenever I visit you, but you don’t want to talk about it, you hush me. Why did you do it too? Moms are supposed to be the nice ones. All I wanted was to hide in your arms and cry, but now when you touch me I feel sick. Why? I don’t know how to love you even though I’ve forgiven you. You scare me more than him because at least I expected that from him. God, where were you when I was begging you in that moment for mercy? I don’t know why and I can’t understand.

But there is one thing that I do know. I know that I am safe now. I know that flowers come up out of manure and rainbows appear after storms. I know that I am loved by a Creator. I know that while I can’t understand much, I know that somehow beautiful things have sprung up from the rubble of my life. Many nights I have nightmares, but every morning the sun streams into my room, enveloping me like a protective hug. The birds start singing and there are places to go and people to meet, and I know all is well. Someday peace and justice will kiss. Someday we will laugh and never cry again.

So today, I’ll use my own hurts to connect with the downtrodden and oppressed, to humbly learn as much as I can, and to relentlessly seek out pure, fearless love and joy in everything.